“Video is the new blogging”: Animoto’s Cynthia Knapic on the latest video trends

Video marketing has seen an impressive growth the last years. How has the rise of mobile consumption affected its growth?

Video has become an integral part of a marketer’s strategy, with its appealingly visual format and its versatility ensuring its effectiveness on every platform.

I sat down with Cynthia (Cyndi) Knapic, Head of Business at Animoto, to discuss the latest trends in video marketing, why ‘square video’ is so popular, and how brands are changing their strategies with the rise of video.

Q: What makes video important in a marketing strategy?

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO, summed it up in a recent earnings call by saying that video “allows people to express themselves in richer ways.” This applies to brands and business too.

Video allows for better storytelling and expression than text or photos alone. You aren’t limited to only audio, or text, or visuals– you can creatively combine all of those elements at once to tell a better, more impactful story.

As such, this makes video is an extremely effective form of marketing. 77 percent of professional marketers and small business owners who have tried video marketing said it had a direct impact on their businesses.

And Animoto’s research has found that four times as many consumers would watch a video about a product as would read about it.

Q: How has the rise of mobile usage affected video marketing?

The rise of mobile has impacted the kind of video content and formats that are being produced and consumed.

Audiences today are spending a lot of time on their smartphones, watching videos in their social media feeds so brands are optimizing their content for this new way that people are consuming it… for example, by producing more videos in the square format.

50 percent of overall video views occurred on mobile in 2016, and 98 percent of millennials are watching video on their phones. Social media is a huge piece of the puzzle here; Facebook users are now consuming 4 billion video views per day, 75 percent of which are on mobile.

Image: Square Video Maker

Q: What makes square video so interesting lately? Out of square, vertical and horizontal video, which works best? Does it depend on the platform?

Square video has been the talk of the video world this year as mobile and social video consumption is on the rise. The reason is simple: square videos drive more engagement on mobile over landscape, which is not surprising when you look at the numbers.

Over 90% of Facebook’s daily active users access the platform on mobile devices and we’ve found that square videos take up 78% more real estate in the mobile news feed than landscape (horizontal) videos, improving viewability and engagement.

Additionally, a recent study showed that view rates for square are 28 percent higher, and consumers are 67 percent more likely to complete square videos over landscape.

At Animoto, we want to make sure we are giving our customers the tools they need to succeed in today’s video marketing landscape, which is why we updated our Marketing Video Builder to enable businesses to create square videos.

The feature is already doubling social performance for major brands like Billboard Magazine, Brussels Airlines, Buffer and the Jane Goodall Foundation.

Q: How are brands changing their strategies with the rise of video consumption?

Video is the new blogging. As such, we’re seeing brands and businesses creating more video content than ever to keep up with the demand for it.

This is a result of “fishing where the fish are,” — making more content available on social media where customers are spending a lot of their time, and interacting with customers in the medium they prefer — which is video.

Q: Do you have a tip for marketers trying to create a successful video marketing strategy?

As with any content creation, it’s important to know what your customers like and respond to, and then find ways to scale your organization to make more of what they want.

Here are some tips for video creation:

Tell one specific story. It’s not about the length of your video but rather about the quality of your story. Videos that try to share too much get confusing very quickly and the viewer will lose interest. Making your video easy to digest will increase the likelihood of having it shared.

Be relevant. Social media is all about living in– and talking about– the moment. If you can make your video content timely and become a part of the online conversation, you will have a much greater chance of successfully engaging with your customers.

Make use of technology solutions. Videos or social media don’t need to be highly produced or complex to succeed. Find easy-to-use tools such as Animoto or try creating Facebook Live videos that can help you scale your team’s ability to create high-performing videos at scale.

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